Diamond Johnson transferring to Norfolk State from NC State

Former NC State star Diamond Johnson is transferring to Norfolk State, she announced Tuesday.

"A lot of people think you always have to go to Power Five schools to get to your [dream], going to the WNBA, going pro," Johnson told Lauren Dreher in her announcement video. "But I don't think it always has to be like that. You can go to HBCUs, mid-majors. I think you can develop there and still chase your dreams."

Norfolk State -- coached by longtime program fixture Larry Vickers -- is coming off its second NCAA tournament appearance in school history, and first since 2002, after capturing the MEAC tournament crown with a win over Howard.

Though the defensive-minded Spartans fell in the first round to then-defending national champion South Carolina, 72-40, they garnered praise from Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley.

"Norfolk State is not a 16 seed," Staley said at the time of the HBCU. "They didn't play like a 16 seed and they were a tremendous team and opponent. We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half and I credit that to how well Norfolk State played."

Johnson, a 5-foot-5 guard, led NC State in scoring this past season with 12.3 points per game, though she played in just 22 games in 2022-23 due to an ankle injury.

Prior to that, she was ACC sixth player of the year as a sophomore and when at Rutgers as a freshman was named to the Big Ten all-freshmen team. She was also the No. 6 overall recruit in the class of 2020, per ESPN HoopGurlz.

The Wolfpack fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament and finished the season 20-12. Johnson was sidelined for the entire postseason, last appearing Feb. 16.